Your Pregnancy, Your Plan
PRENATAL CARE AT GARRISON WOMEN'S HEALTH
Personalized birth plans have been a staple of our practice since 1962. As women caring for women, we want mothers-to-be to feel equipped to make their own decisions and collaborate with us to develop birth plans that are on their terms.
We are here to give you choices, educate you on your options, and empower you for the healthiest, happiest pregnancy possible.
You Have Choices
As you begin the process of developing a personalized plan, our providers will sit down with you to listen to your goals and hesitations while discussing any pre-existing conditions, risk factors, and schedule preferences in order to determine the right path for you.
We offer two customizable models of prenatal care: the Traditional Model and the Essential Eight Program.
A good option for: any mom-to-be (including first-time mothers), patients who want to speak with a provider more frequently, or moms who would prefer to monitor progression on a more regular basis.
- Includes the traditional 14 appointments with nurses, midwives and/or providers.
- In the third trimester, visits are frequently once a week.
- Ideal for mothers with high-risk pregnancies, diabetes, hypertension, or any major medical conditions.
The Essential Eight Program
A good option for: patients with busy lives and schedules, those who travel long distances to make each appointment, or patients who have been through a pregnancy before. Equally as safe and effective as the traditional route, fewer appointments (8 in total) allow providers and patients to focus on the most important milestones in the pregnancy.
- Includes 8 appointments with a provider (1 in the first trimester, 2 in the second, and 5 in the third).
- All major milestones are covered, including: hearing a fetal heart rate for the first time, the fetal survey (checking four chambers of the heart, all ten fingers and ten toes, etc.), and all crucial tests and results.
- As always, you can schedule additional appointments on an as-needed basis.
All models of pregnancy care at Garrison Women’s Health are customized to each mother.
Every pregnancy is different, but making each of them a healthy one is our number one goal. Our providers are passionate about listening to you throughout your pregnancy and postpartum journey.
Still have questions? View our FAQs.
Resources for Moms-to-Be
We are excited to announce that our Nurture Nook—a space for all prenatal patients—is now open. In this tranquil space, any OB patient can drop in Monday through Friday (no appointment required) to spend time on her own connecting with her baby, listening to his/her heart rate, taking fetal measurements, and monitoring her own blood pressure.
*There is no medical provider in this space (no nurse, midwife, or doctor), so it does not substitute for a scheduled prenatal visit.
Hosted bi-weekly by our partner, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, the Pregnancy Circle is a safe place where mothers-to-be can begin building a community of supportive women to help guide them through their pregnancy journey. Learning about other women’s experiences, sharing their own pregnancy journey, and just being in the presence of other expecting moms can often provide comfort and ease anxiety. This is truly a community of women caring for women, in a non-clinical environment.
We believe doulas are an invaluable part of the pregnancy journey. Doulas are experts on birth, providing informational, physical, and emotional support to families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. An excellent complement to the medical care provided by our OBs and midwives, doulas support the mother from start to finish, creating a birth plan to relieve stress and fear throughout the pregnancy. They are also incredibly helpful to partners, supporting them to be present and confident for the person giving birth.
Meet the Midwives Events
Held multiple times per year at the Garrison Women’s Health office, this casual gathering will give you the opportunity to hear about what midwives do, and ask any questions you may have about their work. As the first practice in New Hampshire to offer midwifery services, we have the experience and history to showcase the fantastic services midwives can offer.
"We are here for our patients! As dedicated providers, we acknowledge that we should fit into your schedule, not the other way around."
– DR. JANET PERKINS
Below you will find a complete list of FAQs, general pregnancy questions, and a description of our traditional model of care and our Essential Eight program.
Am I missing anything if I opt into the Essential Eight Program?
By opting in to the Essential Eight program, you are reducing the number of visits during your pregnancy, not reducing the quality of your medical care. Our providers maintain the care standards recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. All patients will still receive all recommended tests, ultrasounds, immunizations, and patient education of the traditional care path. Resources such as the Garrison Women’s Health Nurture Nook, prenatal classes, and Meet the Midwives events will provide you with continuing education throughout your pregnancy. And don’t forget, you can always schedule an appointment with your provider if needs arise.
Is the Essential Eight program safe?
Yes, this program is safe. However, expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies will utilize our traditional model of pregnancy care for closer monitoring. You and your provider will discuss whether this program is right for you. If you qualify, the program is still completely optional.
What is the Essential Eight Program?
A program exclusive to Garrison Women’s Heath, this model of care includes fewer visits than the traditional model: one in the first trimester, two in the second, and five in the third. This plan monitors all aspects of your pregnancy in fewer visits, focusing on the milestones throughout the 9 months. The Essential Eight Program is perfect for low-risk mothers-to-be who do not have the time in their schedule for 14 prenatal visits.
What is the traditional model of prenatal visits?
The traditional model of care includes 14 visits with a provider to monitor all aspects of your pregnancy and assist you in the creation of your personalized birthing plan. This is a great option for any mom-to-be, including first-time mothers, patients who want to speak with a provider more frequently, or moms who would prefer to monitor progression on a more regular basis.
How do I know if I have a high-risk pregnancy?
During your very first appointment, our providers complete a full exam and discuss any risk factors you may have such as diabetes, hypertension, or heart conditions.
What is a midwife?
Certified Nurse Midwives are all fully trained nurses, licensed in the state of New Hampshire, who have additional, extensive training and national certification in midwifery. Midwives believe in the natural process of pregnancy, labor, and birth. While not averse to pain medication, they typically recommend other pain management and relaxation techniques.
What are my options for labor?
No matter which prenatal program you choose, you have complete control over your birth plan. Our providers only divert from this plan when absolutely medically necessary. Labor options include the following:
- Labor balls
- Birthing stools
- Birthing bar
- IV pain medication
- Water therapy: shower, Jacuzzi
If your birth is cesarean (C-section), we strive to keep you, your partner, and your baby together throughout the entire process to ensure you are bonding with your newborn right away. We are pleased to offer you a “gentle cesarean” that includes dim lighting, music of your choice, and immediate skin-to-skin contact.
Do I get to pick which type of provider I get to see?
Garrison has a collaborative model for midwifery care. You can choose whether to see a midwife or a provider for your visits, but most of our clients see both.
Where do Garrison’s providers deliver their patients’ babies?
We are happy to be affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, NH — the top-rated birth center in the Seacoast — to deliver your baby.
Let's Begin Your Journey.
Whether you are ready to schedule your first appointment or just want more information, we want to talk to you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch shortly to discuss your options.